Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report from the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is 6:50 am and the temperature at our house is 20 degrees.  Other weather stations in our area are reporting warmer temperatures.  Sometimes that is the case. 

Our home is built deep in the forest.  Even in the winter, we don’t get much sun.  Due to that, not much snow has melted here.  When I drove back from the shop yesterday, I could see less snow in the farm fields where it was slowly melting away.  Parking lots in town were clear.  The roads are clear.  When you drive into our land, it looks like we had another snowstorm.  The roads on our property are still covered with several inches of snow.

We live exactly 1/3 of a mile from a maintained road.  Ours is gravel.  We still have several inches of snow on our road.

That will change today.  The high temperature will be in the 40’s, probably around 46 degrees.  Many of the roads in Great Smoky Mountains National Park have re-opened.  Little River Road, Laurel Creek Road, Cades Cove and Newfound Gap Roads are open.

The mountains are still solid white.  We can see them when the leaves are off the trees from here.  During the summer, all we see are trees.  Also, during the summer, it is several degrees cooler around our home.  We’re always shaded.  A crew removed over 40 trees near our house last summer.  You could not even tell they were gone. 

Little River is flowing at 357 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 2.11 feet on the flow gauge.  Median flow for this date is 362 cfs.  The water temperature is 34.9 degrees this morning.

You should visit our shop today.  One of the most knowledgeable tailwater fishermen I know will be there to meet you.  His name is Mike Bone.  Mike is a guide, who has been floating clients down the Clinch and Holston Rivers longer than anyone I know.  He is an expert.  His personality is addictive.  He is very enjoyable to talk to.  He will be tying flies and talking to you about his passion, fly fishing for trout.  You might hear a few words about his bird dogs and upland hunting too.

Mike will be there from 10 am until 2 pm.  Just come by.  You don’t need a reservation.  His demonstration is free.

I’ll be here at home, working on our website and tying Knuckleheads. Tomorrow is bookkeeping day so I’ll be at the shop.

Fishing in the Smokies will likely be slow today.  The water is cold for now.  That will change.

It looks like we are quickly changing seasons.  Except for next Thursday and Friday, high temperature are predicted to be in the 50’s and 60’s.  They say the low Tuesday night will be in the 50’s. 

This is going to improve our fishing conditions.  The water will warm after the snow in the mountains melts.  I don’t remember a time when the coming of spring has been this exciting to me.  I have anticipated 63 springs in my life.  But none I can remember, have been like this one. I’m losing sleep too.  Last night I woke, and wide awake, I came down stairs and tied flies for an hour or so.  That has been happening frequently. 

It’s not stress.  My stress level, on a scale of 1 to 10 is one or below.  I bet I tell Paula, at least 10 times each day, “I can’t wait until we can start fishing”.  She always agrees.  We fish together often, mostly on a lake in our boat.  We like kayak fishing too.  We also enjoy canoeing, though we have not done that in years.  The canoe is third in line behind the boat and kayaks.

I’ve been looking at, with no immediate intention to purchase, a new canoe.  I think, if we had a very light canoe, one that we could easily load on my truck or her Subaru, we would go canoeing again. 

The one I’m lusting over is made by Wenonah.  The model is called the “Escape”.  It is 17’ 6” long.  The hull is made of graphite.  It weighs a mere 41 pounds, less than half what one of our fishing kayaks weigh.  I could put this boat on my truck by myself.  These boats cost over $3,000 so we won’t be buying one this year. Our watercraft improvement budget this year will be spent on our boat. 

We have a lot of small, secluded, less-traveled lakes around here.  And, there are areas on large lakes, that don’t see much if any boat traffic on weekdays.  A boat like this would be perfect, especially if there is no ramp to launch.  I don’t know, I think about a purchase like this sometimes for years.  I’ve been thinking about buying a new truck for at least 8 years.  Maybe I’ll get graphite canoe when I’m old.

Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
February 28, 2015

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